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Portable GC/MS Methods to Evaluate Sources of cVOC Contamination in Indoor Air

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A portable gas chromatograph‐mass spectrometer (GC/MS) was used to investigate sources of chlorinated volatile organic compound (cVOC) contamination in indoor air at 46 residences around Hill AFB, Utah, that were potentially affected by vapor intrusion. Analytical methods were developed to allow sample turnaround times of less than 10 min and method detection limits (MDLs) generally less than 1 μg/m3 for a selected list of cVOCs. Area‐by‐area sampling was used to identify the likely vapor source locations. In many cases, individual container/enclosure sampling and subsequent field emission rate measurements from isolated consumer products were used to determine if identified products were likely to be the primary source of vapors in the residence. The portable GC/MS was also used to characterize vapor intrusion in two residences. In one of these two residences, building pressure control was used to enhance vapor entry in order to facilitate the investigation resulting in confirmation of vapor intrusion and identification of a primary route of vapor entry. cVOCs were identified in 42 of the 46 homes investigated, subsurface vapor intrusion was identified in two homes, and two homes had inconclusive results.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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